Monday, November 23, 2009

Black Friday / Cyber Monday sale

Hey Everyone, we have a big sale planned for this Friday, Black Friday, through Cyber Monday, next Monday (11/27 - 11/30). This will be the best sale for the rest of the year on Falcons, so if you have been eyeing getting a Falcon in general, or getting one for the holidays, now is the time to do it!

The Falcon bundle (including the Falcon, pistol grip, Penumbra Overture, and the Orange Box) will retail for...

wait for it...

$99

yes, you heard me right ;) It's our biggest sale ever (while supplies last!) - we're finding that every Falcon that ends up in someone's hands leads to more Falcons being bought by their friends and family from the great word of mouth we get after people try the Falcon, so we're really pushing the envelope for this sale, to get a bunch of Falcons out over the holidays, leading into 2010, and really spur the great word of mouth we're finding we get. Please take advantage of the concept, and give the Falcon a spin.

View the details for the deal here (note that the $99 sale pricing won't be reflected until this Friday, so wait until then to get the deal)
https://home.novint.com/store/promote.php

It's likely going to be a very long time before you see the Falcon at that price again.




There's more good news for Black Friday...
we're doing one of our biggest software releases as well, with a good holiday discount too. Check out the link above on Black Friday to see what the deal is ;)

Novint has a 30 day money back guarantee, for those of you not familiar with the Falcon and want to try it out
http://home.novint.com/novint/guarantee.php

We also have a great referral program. When people get a Falcon they love it. Then they tell their friends. Why not get some extra $$$ for your referrals, to pay off those holiday credit card bills, when your friends pick up a Falcon after playing with yours ;)
http://home.novint.com/novint/referral.php

We just held a contest pitting the Falcon against the mouse in Team Fortress 2, a very popular online First Person Shooter. Few people doubt that the Falcon dramatically improves the experience and immersion of gaming, especially when reading reviews and customer feedback. In the recent contest, however, the Falcon team went 6 and 2 against mouse based teams, which proves that the Falcon can be used very effectively in online multiplayer gaming as well. Way to go Falconers!!!
Here's a video of the Falcon in FPS games
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJ1Rz2clLS0
Here's a video of the Falcon in action, with picture in picture, for you online FPS players
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oa9H1P-K89s

There are many other genres supported as well.

Finally, one of the most exciting things happening at Novint is our upcoming release of our F-Gen drivers. The F-Gen drivers will allow the Falcon to be used to play any PC game! This is huge for us. We'll still have more of our FalconHD (i.e. hi-def) titles, but F-Gen will allow you to play any of your favorite games with the Falcon. The F-Gen beta version of the drivers will be out before the end of the year.

as always, I answer any questions people have on our message boards, so feel free to post there, or in the comments here on our blog. Perhaps the best way to evaluate the Falcon, is to search the web, and see what actual Falcon users are saying. People that have one almost universally love it and find that it fundamentally changes how they play games. We also have one of the best communities you'll find - a great group of people to interact with, and we want to continue to see it grow :)

thx all,
tomnovint, ceo

Monday, November 9, 2009

Halflife2.Net Grip Contest - Videos/Images

Hey Everyone,

The following is a listing of the videos/images associated with the grip contest entries, which are mentioned in detail in the previous blog posting. Enjoy =)

Winner: gkaee's entry - Sword handle grip

video


Runner up: Lone Wolf's entry - Pistol Grip with a variety of features



















Honorable Mentions

Moodan's entry - Machine gun grip
























kgwhipp's entry - 3D Scanner grip















The Cake is a Pie's entry - Modified Pistol Grip
















Marler's entry - Revolver Grip













Terrox's entry - TF2 Heavy Head Grip

Halflife2.net grip design contest

Hello everyone, we just finished our judging of the Halflife2.net grip design contest. I’d like to start by thanking Halflife2.net for having us get more involved in their community – We’ve known it as a great site for years, and have recently gotten more involved with the community myself. It has great, intelligent guys running the site, and it is a group we’re very excited to be working with. We’d like to do more event and contests with them in the future.

In the contest, we asked entrants to design a Novint Falcon grip (or handle), to be used with the Novint Falcon. We judged the designs on design appeal and practicality (particularly for where we are in our business, and what we are looking to do), value to end users, aesthetic appeal, effort, and presentation. There were many strong entries – more than I thought we would get. The quality and thought put into them was more than I envisioned as well, so judging was harder than I thought it would be, and people overall did a great job.

In the end, we decided on five honorable mentions, one runner up, and one winner.

Honorable Mentions (in no particular order):

Entry from Mooodan
Moodan’s design was a machine gun type of grip. The reason we liked this one so much was that we felt it captured the spirit of what many people would really like to have in shooters. Novint spends a lot of time on message boards, and we listen to a lot of people’s feedback. Moodan’s design had a lot of detail in it that echoed what many others have described they want to see – this one stood out for the gamer’s perspective and ideas it had. The main issue we see in this design is that it is bulky and could break fairly easily, particularly at the interface to the Falcon. We would have liked to see a description of how the grip could practically attach to the Falcon (e.g. using some type of release system where the handle would come off without damage if tweaked the wrong way). Overall, well done.

Entry from kgwhipp
kgwhipp's design was a non-gaming use of the Falcon, and was particularly insightful as to what the Falcon can do. In essence, the Falcon is a robot, and therefore the handle can be moved and controlled by an application. Kgwhipp’s design took advantage of this fact, and the grip attachment he designed therefore creates a low cost 3D scanner, in which you can scan objects into 3D models into your computer by moving a sensor attached to the Falcon. The presentation on his design was excellent. This is a practical, realistic design that a real business could be developed around. In that sense in particular, it was one of the best submissions. It was an excellent submission, and definitely one of our favorites.

Entry from The Cake is a Pie (his steam name)
The Cake is a Pie’s entry was a grip similar to a pistol grip, however, he designed the buttons to be on the top rather than the sides. Our first impression was that it looked like a great design, but there was some concern that it could have ergonomic issues. However, upon looking further into the presentation, we saw that a real physical clay prototype was developed. That is one of the key efforts in good grip design, and seeing it in his hand showed that ergonomics was both considered, and potentially a feature of the design. Prototypes are critical to this type of design process, and we were impressed with the effort, so this entry was easy to choose as an honorable mention.

Entry from Marler
Marler’s entry was a pistol grip design, with a very classic and stylistic handle. One insight we feel this design has, is in the fact that many different pistol grips can be developed over time, and tailored to specific games. I think this type of grip has a strong place in our longer term line-up, which we envision will include a variety of pistol grip designs, many tailored to specific games. The presentation and drawing, hand drawn and neat and clean, was impressive. Several of the specific design features could be applied across a variety of games. Great design and entry.

Entry from Terrox
Terrox’s entry was funny, and a very clean and well done presentation. We Falconers love Team Fortress 2, as well. It was so well done, we thought it deserved a mention ;)

Runner up:
Entry from Lone Wolf
Lone Wolf’s entry was a pistol grip with a variety of features. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of this for us, was the resemblance to prototypes we have done using professional designers. The way the back of the pistol grip is shorter resembles physical prototypes we have made. In our prototypes we envisioned a scroll wheel, similar to Lone Wolf’s track ball. I think this type of grip is in a design category that will be one of our next 4 grips, which pushed it into our runner up entry. The presentation was clean and professional as well. A couple of the design features aren’t perhaps practical, such as the temperature changing module and the pain simulator, but they’re very cool nonetheless. Maybe we actually will find a way to implement those type of features as well. Overall, a strong design and along the lines of where we’re headed, so, well done.

Winner:
Entry from gkaee,
gkaee's entry was a sword handle grip for the Falcon. There were a number of reasons we felt it was the winner of the contest, just edging out the runner up and honorable mentions. First, it is a design that we felt captures a critical direction for Novint. One of the key things we would like to do as a company is give people a sense of immersion across a wide variety of genres. A sword handle represents a class of grip that we feel is important to several game genres, and is therefore is practical and high value in our eyes. It would be a reasonably inexpensive grip to design, which is important. A ball joint attachment was described, which is representative of an aspect of future grips that we envision. This was the only entry with an animated cad model, which was a nice touch in the presentation. We would have liked to have seen more design features in the grip’s industrial and aesthetic design. Also, the bow and arrow enhancement to the grip, although a very cool idea, wasn’t our favorite as the Falcon itself, through its motors, can accurately simulate a bow and arrow in a more realistic way. However, those slight changes didn’t take away from the overall design and presentation, and given it was a design in a different category of gaming grip, it stood out from the rest to become our winner. Congratulations gkaee on winning the contest, and welcome to the Falcon family!!! Let us know what you think, when your Falcon arrives.

You can see images at
http://novintblog.blogspot.com/2009/11/hey-everyone-following-is-listing-of.html

Again, we very much appreciate the interest and participation in the contest. There were many quality entries. Some other entries that didn’t make it into the honorable mentions were great ideas, but didn’t have quite as much polish as other entries. There were also a few funny entries that were appreciated. We’ll be posting images of the entries described here on the Novint blog.

We originally intended to only give out 1 Falcon to the winner (congratulations gkaee!!!), but given how much effort was actually put into these we didn’t feel right not presenting others with something. We decided to give out certificates to the others as follows. There’s no obligation to use the certificates, but for any of those who would like to, we think they’re nice prizes.

Winner: Free Novint Falcon!
Runner Up: $150 certificate towards the purchase of the $199 Falcon bundle.
Honorable Mentions: $125 certificate towards the purchase of the $199 Falcon bundle.
Other entrants: $100 certificate towards the purchase of the $199 Falcon bundle.

Thanks everyone for a great contest, and thanks again to halflife2.net. It was fun to judge
The Novint Team